Tuesday, December 31, 2013

In the morning

Baby D. and the Willow ©2013,Chantel Dillard
I untangled myself from the baby sleeping against me and shook my arm back to life. That's usually how the mornings begin. I scan the window to try to figure out the time. Is it early enough? Did I sleep past my meeting time with the Father?
     I sit up to coax myself out of the fog of sleep. I crawl out the bed to get to my prayer spot. I sink into the peace of God that meets me there. It's comforting and familiar. I slowly inhale, exhale. Thank you Jesus.
Sometimes it's a slow build up. It takes time to shake off the mentality of routine, and really feel for the direction of this meeting.
     "Father  I'm here, and I have my agenda. I have the way I think this time with you should go. I got into your presence this way before, but maybe you have a different agenda than mine. Order my thoughts Lord. I take captive every thought to the obedience of Christ. Order my emotions God. I bring my emotions under your subjection to your will. Let my will be lost in yours."
     I pause, and remind myself that I can never go wrong with giving thanks. I give thanks- for the big and the tiny details that I could easily overlook. Before I know it I feel gratefulness flowing from the core of me. There is realization that the numerous blessings, named and unnamed, known and unknown, are way more than I deserve. Tears flood my eyes. I am unworthy to receive the blessings he daily loads me with. How dare I complain?
      My gratefulness to God cascades into appreciation for the grace to repent for failing to give thanks always in all things as Ephesians 5:20 commands. I am thankful again for the Word that reminds me He is faithful and just to forgive all my sins and to cleanse me from ALL unrighteousness. I repent and am made free by the truth of the Word of God. I rejoice at his amazing grace. I give thanks for grace and the Word that showed grace to me.
     I stay with the Lord for as long as reality will allow. When I do get up I feel renewed. I feel vigorous and ready to meet with the rest of the day. I feel that my eyes have been washed and I can see clearer. I am inspired by the revelations and the Words God speaks directly to my spirit. He gives me tasks for the day, that I am nervously excited to perform. Ah the joy of meeting with the Lord. To begin the day without it, is to begin the day with misstep, throwing all other steps out of line. Oh what a reward, when the very opposite is done- oh the reward of being in tune with Christ from the first step, with hope for the next and the last.
-Chantel

Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.- Psalm 55:17

Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early- Ps. 57:8

Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiness: to Honor Him Part 3

Part three of our Holiness series is on modesty.  Catch up on part 1 and Part 2 here.  ( Part 4 link is below this post)

I recently read a blog post that very clearly said some great things on modesty. I am providing the excerpt of this article here along with the link to the full thing. Enjoy!
                   




The issue of modesty gets heated, as fingers are pointed and hemlines discussed, but I’m going to skip all that fuss and speak woman to woman, because I think we can handle it!
#1 Myth of Modesty: ‘It’s His Job Not to Look’
It’s true, lust is a sin, and men shouldn't entertain it.
But if we give them nothing to look at, how often do you think they would be tempted to lust after us?
The article I mentioned earlier said women have been unfairly singled out concerning modesty. While men are responsible to honor us with their eyes and minds, when we dishonor ourselves by what we wear, the real unfairness is to the men. Do we really expect to wear whatever we want and then tell them not to look at us? Do we really expect to fit in with the latest (often sexually promiscuous) trends and NOT be viewed as an object of sexual desire?
It is not just his job not to look: it is our responsibility to provide nothing provocative to look at. We cannot blame men for what we instigate, and it is time for women of God to start acknowledging our responsibility in this matter, taking up our cross, and honoring God with our dress.
#2 Myth of Modesty: Setting Standards is Legalistic
I will always have a reader who emails me about my modesty posts saying that she wore yoga pants and it wasn't a big deal. “I understand you were convicted that it was wrong,” The email might kindly explain. “But I haven’t been convicted yet.”
I’m not here to write a list of rules to be broken or ignored, but rather to talk about real issues that address real young women. I realize that it is not my job to write your personal standards of modesty. But since we are on the topic of yoga pants, let me share some things Mr. M commented to me when I was writing this post:
“Yoga pants make it difficult to work out when the girls are right there and the pants are so tight, it’s basically like the woman is naked. A friend of mine even said when a girl wears yoga pants… it shows all the form and features while covering up flaws, like imperfections of the skin or cellulite. They are designed to be appealing.”
Additionally, a young man in a men’s group Mr. M once attended upheld this view. He told the men it was tough for him to try to work out, where there are girls wearing yoga pants doing stretches right beside him. It was a struggle not to lust after them. He would have to make himself leave the vicinity to do his workout with the still-present threat of remembering their image and stumbling later on. Yet another friend told Mr. M that it pained and concerned him that his girlfriend would go to the gym in her yoga pants to work with her personal trainer, but he didn’t feel he could ask her to stop without being perceived as controlling.
What is the real issue here? Is it what not to wear? In our hearts we know it isn’t. It’s a standard of behavior, not a standard of dress, that is ultimately missing from our lives when we fail to be modest.
I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. (1 Timothy 2:9-10)
Paul wanted women to dress with ‘decency and propriety… as appropriate for women who profess to worship God.’ This high calling is our standard of behavior, which directly influences our standard of dress. It calls us to be different from the trends, the culture, and the leanings of the modern church. It calls us to align our spiritual life with our outward life in all things, willing to make personal sacrifices in order to do so.
Setting standards is not legalistic; regulating others BY our standards is legalistic. Many of us spend a lot more time telling the men of the church to quit looking and the other women in the church to quit dressing the way they do, and we never evaluate our own closets.
#3 Myth of Modesty: Men Don’t Care What I Wear
Oh, they do. They care. Why else would we care so much? Why do we place such value on being told we are pretty or beautiful by a man? Why do we spend half an hour getting ready before a date?
Because men DO care what we wear, and we know it!
Men care so much what we do (or do not) wear, they are very conscious of it at all times. While the level may differ man to man, the concept remains the same: extra skin, extra form, extra cleavage or extra leg will draw either subconscious or conscious attention from them. They are designed as visual creatures (we have had this taught to us many times over, have we not?) so a visual stimulant catches their eye.
On an innocent level, men simply like pretty things. My brothers notice when a girl looks put together. My dad has commented on movie actresses who are classy and well-dressed. Mr. M has commented to me that a passing woman’s dress was pretty. They like pretty things and they like when we wear them.
Because of this, we have a great power. We have the power to draw their eyes toward us for one of two reasons:
  1. For the appeal of their desire based on revealing enough of our bodies to entice them; or
  2. To appear attractive in personality as reflected in how we dress.
This leads me to my next point.
#4 Myth of ModestyLust is HIS Problem
Lust is a rampant problem in the church and in our culture. Most often lust is addressed with men, but it is also a major issue in the lives of women. It simply looks different for women than it does for men.
In Myth #3, I listed two ways we can turn a man’s head:
  1. For the appeal of his desire based on revealing enough of our bodies to entice him; or
  2. To appear attractive in personality as reflected in how we dress.
Don’t think I can’t relate with a desire for attention. I am acutely aware that there are certain items I could wear that would draw Mr. M’s attention to my body, and I would be flattered by it. In fact, I would relish the attention and be affirmed that he found me desirable.
Manipulating a man’s attention for the purpose of affirmation is how women are tempted to lust.
Case in point: Eve.
“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” (Gen. 3:6)
Eve was given to Adam as his most trusted companion. She was also the most perfect beauty ever to be created in the body of a woman. You can bet her beauty served her well as she asked Adam to taste-test the forbidden fruit!
Eve thought the fruit of the tree was useful and pretty, but also desirable.
“For everything in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–comes not from the Father but from the world.” (1 John 2:16)
When I give into my desire to for Mr. M’s attention, at the expense of his endeavor to honor God, I am giving in to the lust of my flesh and encouraging the lust of his eyes. I am also expressing pride by ignoring God’s command for ‘decency and propriety’ since I claim to worship Him. I am becoming Eve.
#5 Myth of Modesty: Modesty is Just Something I Do


“The more you cover up the more [a Christian man] will want you. Men like mystery, and when you reveal that mystery walking down the street, there is no reason for them to pursue you. They’ve already gotten their reward.” – Mr. M
Would you like to reward passing men with a glimpse of your body?
Men who couldn’t care less about who you are?
Modesty affects us, ladies. It affects us greatly. It affects how we are perceived, how we are respected, how we advance in our careers, and whether we get asked on a date by a God-fearing, decent man.
Our choices in how we dress – how short our skirt is, how low our shirt is, how tight our pants are – is the clearest reflection of our personal priorities and our openness to letting God’s Word alter our lives. I realize that is a bold statement, but it is very, very true. When I am not walking in God’s Spirit and seeking to do what I read in His Word, I will wear whatever I want at the expense of the men around me and my own self-respect.  In those moments, I would rather be trendy, Pinterest-y, and pretty than prove to the world that I worship God.
When we stubbornly resist the call to cover up, we reveal hearts that have misplaced priorities. We have a high calling, ladies, clearly laid out in Romans 12:17-18. This passage talks about forgiveness, which applies to all treatment of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
“Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”
Modesty is respectable in the sight of all men. It just is. Additionally, in our relationships with men, it depends upon us to dress in a way that keeps peace between us and our brothers.
“But Phylicia,” you may say. “How am I causing a lack of peace by how I dress?!”
“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul…” (1 Peter 2:11)
When we dress in a way that has even the potential to cause a man to lust, we create an unnecessary war against his soul.
Think about that for a moment.
Dressing in the way God commands – with modesty, propriety, and decency – protects the men around us from waging a needless war in their souls. When we REFUSE to accept our responsibility to protect our brothers – our sister’s husbands and sons – from lust, we are creating a war and inciting unrest in the church.
Yes, it is the responsibility of the men to turn their eyes away. So let’s entrust them to the Lord and let Him deal with their responsibilities while we concern ourselves with our own. Ladies, I am right here with you, dealing with this issue, struggling with it, fighting with my closet over it! I am asking you to join me in this endeavor. I want to trust Mr. M around you. I want you to trust your husbands around me.
On a final note, here is some encouragement. 1 Peter 2:12 says:
“…having your way of life honest among the Gentiles, that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.”
When we keep ourselves hidden, those who see us glorify God because they see a different woman than
they are used to. Anyone can join the trends. Anyone can wear yoga pants. But the woman who chooses to change in order to obey God will be blessed in her doing.
We’re in this together girls! Let’s honor God and earn the respect of the men around us by pursuing His standards for all of life and living.


Wasn't that awesome? If you missed the link at the beginning, here it is again. A Quill and an Inkwell: Modesty Post
 Inspired by this series on holiness? Questions? Feel free to email me. Be prayerful and study to show yourself approved unto, not man or woman, but to God. 

Warmest thoughts and prayers, 
Chantel 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Simple Pleasures

The other day I was reminded that it does not have to take something elaborate to make a meaningful moment. Rather, a meaningful moment, can sometimes be the simplest ones.






I marveled at the happiness my children exuded when they got to play with a animal pen made of only cardboard and sticks- FUN!

Then the joy of Boche Balls turned duck-pin balls.







Who wouldn't want to ride on this tractor?


Simple. Pleasures.







Likewise, I marvel at how meaningful it is when I simply whisper the name Jesus, or breathe a word of thanks in the middle of my busy-ness. It suddenly becomes an elaborate moment- a moment where time slows down, and there is a perspective shift.
 It's in these moments that Jesus is aligned back at center.
It's in his presence that there is fullness of joy.
 It's at his right hand, that there are pleasures evermore.

Don't miss those moments.
Simple Pleasures.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Holiness: to honor him Part 2





"The greatest compliment to a creator of a thing- whether a musical masterpiece, or an admirable work of art- is to keep it as he created it. This says, to the artist, I agree- your work is good."-Chantel Lorayne

 This second part of our holiness study is going to focus on the ordinance that God set in order from the creation of man. Remember holiness is about being set apart from the world's standards, structures, and rules and instead walking according to God's.

The Purpose
When God created man his purpose was to create man
 (1) in his image and
 (2) in his likeness. (Genesis 1:25)

First ,according to the Word, the image of God is "the Word made flesh." John 1:14

Hebrews 1:3 NKJV who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Secondly, the likeness of God, is his character of holiness, or separation.

1 Peter 1:14-16 King James Version (KJV)
14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

In short, we are to be like him.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Holiness: To honor him Part 1


God is God (and I am not)

Since the beginning of the earth as we know it God revealed his character of holiness. His first recorded act was to separate light from the darkness.  


God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.
And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,

קֹדֶשׁ

Qodesh (kō'·desh)
apartness, holiness, sacredness, separateness
apartness, sacredness, holiness
of God
of places
of things
set-apartness, separateness(reference, http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H6944&t=KJV)
This Hebrew word for holy denotes sacredness, and something that is apart from something else.


God is so serious about holiness that he says:

Deuteronomy 22:9-11

New King James Version (KJV)
“You shall not sow your vineyard with different kinds of seed, lest the yield of the seed which you have sown and the fruit of your vineyard be defiled.10 “You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together.11 “You shall not wear a garment of different sorts, such as wool and linen mixed together.
So wait, are we dishonoring God by using mixed materials and plowing with two different kinds of animals? What does the bible say?

Hebrews 10:1a (NIV)
The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—...
image from the web


God wants us to understand the principle of holiness and apply it to every area of our living. God, who is a Holy God, and in whose image and likeness we are to exhibit, deserves and demands a holy people. 

Holiness means we are not conformed to the world. Holiness demands a transformation in us. They way we think, they way we reason, has to be renewed.
Here are a few verses on separation that should inspire us to examine ourselves. Are we holy unto the Lord?

Ezra 6:21So the Israelites who had returned from the exile... together with all who had separated themselves from the unclean practices of their Gentile neighbors in order to seek the Lord, the God of Israel.
Ezra 9:1 After these things had been done, the leaders came to me and said, “The people of Israel, including the priests and the Levites, have not kept themselves separate from the neighboring peoples with their detestable practices, like those of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians and Amorites. 

Have we failed in being distinct from those around us? Are we a beacon of light in this dark world? Or do we blend in? 

John 17:15-16  (KJV) 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 
2 Corinthians 6:17 Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”
Did you catch that cause and effect there? Be separate...and I will receive you. 
Ezra 10:11 Now honor the Lord, the God of your ancestors, and do his will. Separate yourselves from the peoples around you...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Time well spent

10/27/2013
I should be studying right now.
Instead I am balancing the sleeping head of my baby boy on my left forearm, praying my arm does not fall asleep, and typing away on this laptop propped on a cardboard box in front of me ( so I don't have to lean over to type).
Yep.

So like I said I should be studying, but this comes so much easier ( well besides the fact  that I am doing be
fore-mentioned balancing act with the baby, but I digress...).
 OK, and now I have to pause as said baby wrestles and proceeds to kick my arm into submission- to be continued...




10/29/2013
So here I am days later, and in the same position. Baby's head is balanced in the crook of my arm. I got my assignments done though.

This topic of time came to me. The way we spend our time. Would we spend it the same way if we were literally spending our time. Ever heard of money well spent?

For example, going to the store is not fun for me. I take for. ev. er. I do. It takes me 15 minutes and three pass bys , two pick-ups and a put down, and one more calculated look-up-into-the-air chin tap,  to decide to get a thing. A thing. Now let's multiply that by- well, let's not. I'm sure you get it.




The Canal ©Chantel Dillard,2013
10/30/2013
Now back to the subject at hand.
What would happen if we treated our time as if it was money we were spending? How much more thought would we put into the way we spend time. The thing is, how we spend our time here on earth, is much like a blueprint for the way we will spend eternity.
Are we more concerned with pleasing ourselves and making ourselves as happy and comfortable on this earth as we can, than we are for ministering to others the grace of God? Are we so concerned with fulfilling our goals and dreams that we give no thought to how we can glorify God and bring God's glory to man through those goals and dreams?

I look around at all the fleeting things we do that, once over, you realize, you can't get that time back. I could have done something better with that time, I think sometimes. And don't fool yourself into thinking being busy is the best way to spend your time. Busy-ness does not always equal fulfillment.
Of course without a doubt the best time is always spent holding hands with eternity- talking with our Father, and reading and studying and meditating on his Word. That goes without saying right?
But we must treat every other moment in between as moments in his hands. Because they are.

Psalm 31:15a My times are in Your hand;

Monday, September 16, 2013

Even there


Where's your "there"?
Yup even there- his hands will lead you : )
Today my "there" is sick in bed.
Thank God for his gentle hands.
-Chantel

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Encouragement - a twitter among the leaves

Stay up to the minute on encouraging posts and thoughts from me by checking out the twitter feed in the side column directly from this page.
 Remember: His grace is sufficient, and greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.
Be encouraged : )



Friday, July 19, 2013

My weakness... His Strength


"How do you do it?"
Comforting a sullen little one

 I get asked that a lot.
I humbly but cautiously received a compliment from a friend the other day when she said, you're an awesome mom.
My first thought? If you only knew
My second thought? Well I AM in some state of  AWE at myself at the end of the day ( chuckle, chuckle)
After laying the last one down for the night, and the quiet that seemed to avoid the day softly sweeps in, I think to myself:  How did I do that?
 It's only by HIS GRACE. It's only by HIS STRENGTH.


Listen while you read
Sometimes you don't want to speak of some of the realities, in fear of painting a bleak picture of raising children, or being a stay at home mom, or doing anything worth doing.
The truth is, how this is done, without the help of the Lord, without the Holy Ghost,  mesmerizes me.

I find myself at the foot of my bed on my knees multiple times in  the day asking God-OK just tell me what to do, I'll do it. Just write on the wall, or just fire up a tree- I just want to know what to do. Because, half the time, I don't feel confident that I know what to do.
I feel, some days, I am just not built for this, I must be broken, because shouldn't this come naturally?

 For example, simple yes or no questions send me into a mental whirlwind. How will this affect them, Is it necessary or wait, is  it necessarily NOT necessary? Is this inconveniencing me? Am I mean if I say no just because i'm not in the mood right now? Is this going to harm someone?  Does  it really matter if they don't like me? I'm their mother. What would my mom have done? Jesus what would you do?  OK yes have an orange- (haha)

I laugh but I'm serious.

"Jesus what would you do?"


I marvel at how much I get done in a day and how much I don't get done.

My head feels like it will explode some days because I just  can't do what I planned. But then I realize that the things I do get to do, are usually all that is needed
All that is needed... .( Hmm, does that mean I'm growing up, maturing, learning?)
To be the mother God  chose for these precious six souls, is all that is needed. My unique personality, as flawed as I find it to be, my perks, and my highs and lows, are all part of the grand make up for each and every one of my lambs. God gave me to them, as much as he gave them to me.

I still try to cram in too much in a day- be everything for everyone, do everything for everyone....but my first ministry is  my house and home....

So I am at the foot of his mercy seat everyday- wishing I could wish away my imperfections and my mess-ups. Wishing I could just know all the right answers and respond all the right ways, at the right times, in the right tones, to the right persons.
But God...

God in his infinite wisdom knew I would need to be, each moment, baptized in his Grace. I thank my God, that he loves even me, and his strength is made perfect in my weakness; his grace is sufficient for my everyday moments, chaotic and peaceful, and in-between. Every moment in his hands.



And the conclusion is this (enjoy):


Monday, July 15, 2013

How about a little kick-start?

Sometimes we just need a little kick-start to get us going.
That fresh brewed cup of morning coffee? Ahh, a Kickstart

That super cold and fruity smoothie in the middle of a long hot day? Kickstart






That quiet time with the Lord before the day begins- Kickstart






Yes, I could sure use one right about now- a Kickstart- a helping hand, to get a dream of a recording project headed in the forward direction. So I launched a project on kickstarter.com.  If you don't mind being a part of something new fresh and inspiring- how about it? Check this out and share on your pages, on your social networks. I believe. Would you believe with me?

Saturday, June 29, 2013

It's funner that way

The Pool- it's so overrated ( well I think it is, but the Spectacular Six don't agree wholeheartedly) - oh and don't get me wrong I love to swim....
But there is a resolution that we can all agree on- have our own water fun right in our back yard:
No need to worry about rough pool guests, practically undressed swimmers, and attempting to keep an eye on 5 little ones by a body of water. Yep, as they said this particular- This is so much fun, mommy! It's actually more fun than the pool. (Go me!)

The little one takes the reins



Fill up the wagon
A new take on a "water" ride

Head dunk, breath holding contest
Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. Isaiah 12:3

Saturday, June 1, 2013

He called him friend; the pain of betrayal

Here is a note I felt needs to be shared.
We expect enemies to attack.
But what happens when friends turn on you? How are you supposed to deal with a spouse who now slanders you and turns the kids against you? What defense is there against a family member who shuns you? Exactly what should you do about a "loving, Christian church member" who leads a mutiny among the body of believers, leaving a wake of bloodshed behind....
Read the rest at the the link below. You'll be glad you did.
 The Pain of Betrayal. I pray it blesses you. -Chantel

Monday, May 6, 2013

Perfect Love?



God has been speaking to me on this subject of perfect love lately. Then my Pastor also confirmed this in a word spoken on yesterday. Here is a post written at the One Message.One Faith Blog on this subject.



ONE MESSAGE. ONE FAITH.: Perfect Love: 1 John 4:16-18 King James Version (KJV) 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dw...

Be sure to check out the an additional post on that blog as well, also on perfect love, titled PERFECT LOVE= NO FEAR.
-Chantel

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Hearing God Part 2

( Continued from Part 1)
As we turned back to get the tickets my mind could not help replaying that tiny moment of decision that impacted such a big part of our day. "No, sweetheart", I said, "it was mommy's fault."
 I began to pray that the Lord, for the sake of the children, would mercifully allow the ushers to grant us access to the show though, at this rate, we'd be minutes late.
I realized then, while I prayed, that my one faulty decision affected more than just myself. I was thankful that this was not an urgent matter, but it gave me insight as to how important it is to recognize the voice of the Lord and to listen with immediacy. The impact goes beyond ourselves.
7:05- I ran in and grabbed the tickets, bounded back outside. It was 7:08. We headed back in the direction of the theater. According to the GPS it was 20 minutes away. We reached by 7:32, but we still had to corral 6 children out of the vehicle. We can do this, I said to myself.
 We walked to the entrance, me silently praying.  According to the small print on the tickets, the next time they would allow people in was at intermission.

Suddenly I saw the theater door open up. One of the door greeters saw us through the door, and hurriedly waved us in. Oh, we quickened our steps. I heard him indicate our group and our seats in a headset and I almost could not contain my gratefulness.
God was merciful. I was even more thankful because I knew that I totally deserved to miss out.

See it wasn't about missing the tickets. It was about missing the opportunity to obey God and reap the rewards of obedience.
 I appreciate the opportunity to detect God 's voice in a simple matter, so that in a more urgent moment, recognizing and obeying the voice of God will be simple still.

Can you recall a moment when you realized that small voice was God's voice indeed, and the trouble you could have avoided, had you listened?
But his grace is sufficient isn't it?

Warmest thoughts and Prayers,
Chantel

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Hearing God

We were excitedly heading to a greatly anticipated theatrical production. This would be a first for the children, and a first in a very long time (like since grade school) for the Mr and I. Halfway to the theater it donned on me that I had forgotten the tickets. The show began at 7:30 and it was 6:50, midroute, and still ten minutes away from the theater. We needed to get there early however as the theater stated that once show time began there would be no seating- but only at the discretion of the theater folk.
Oh this was not good. My daughter saw my sullen face and tried to make me feel better by saying , it's ok mom its not your fault. By the time we could make a legal u-turn it was 6:51 and we had to turn around, and double back an entire 10 to 12 minutes to go back to get the forgotten tickets.
I was sullen the entire ride back. It was not, however the tickets I had forgotten. It was the realization that I disobeyed the voice of my Father.
You see, hours earlier around 5, I took the tickets out to confirm the start and end time for the show. I had tickets that I printed out and had them all in a neat stack tucked in a zippered pocket to keep them handy and not lose them. I took them out, thinking that maybe I should cut them apart from one another and so I placed them on the desk.
As soon as I put them down, a voice said don't leave them there, implying I will forget them
there. I actually responded in my mind- I'll remember.
I didn't. Matter of fact it was far from my mind while we were all stuffing our faces and scrambling to gather ourselves and the spectacular six out the door.
To be continued...

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Submission: It's not a dirty word

I love when the Lord reveals things to me about myself during our fellowship. I feel loved and cared for by the almighty God- that he would care enough to correct me. He does not want me to be lost. I am grateful for such a friend and Father as he. He is honest and compassionate.
These are qualities we should all want in a friend. An honest and compassionate friend are the truest kind.
So as I spent time in communion with the Lord this morning this thought of submission was impressed upon me.
I thought I was good in this area. I will admit, I hail myself ( blush) as a pretty good example of a submissive wife.
"Uh-uh-uh",goes this nudging- this gentle poke of the Holy Spirit.
I am not quite as submissive as I thought.
But Lord I give preference to my husband. I defer to him, I honor him.

Then the Lord brought to me the times that I do not readily listen to him. The things that I shrug at- simple things, small things in my perspective- but things none the less.
They are at first glance so harmless. Quite honestly, these are things that at the time, seem to have room for my right to choose. He is not offended at all when I decide, hmm, I'll just do this my way right here, honey.

But the Lord showed me that its the little things like that that add up into making a husband feel like his opinion does not matter. It is in those little things that can wear away at a husband's confidence in leading the family both naturally and spiritually.

The Lord challenged me to be more submissive to my husband- to his suggestions and to his subtle and even indirect direction. This will strike in him a subsmission in return.

He will be moved to compassion and carefulness. He will go into protect and lead mode, which is his God-ordained role. He will be moved to fight for me and our children with even more passion. His purposefulness will be re-fueled.

The thing is you don 't have to be married to try this.
Submission begets submission. If you want someone to be more aware of you and your feelings and concerns- concern yourself about them and their feelings and concerns.
It works, because it's in the Word of God.

Ephesians 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Is this an area, you need to step up in?


Warmest thoughts and prayers,
Chantel


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

In this house

WE do yummy breakfast...

We do schooling...


 We do Lord of the Rings?...




& Smiles...

We do wholesome...
 We do together....


We love Jesus



As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord -Joshua 24:15

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Leaping Benefits

Exhilarating!
Yes, I am using that word- and for good reason. I have thirteen steps  in my home,  and I just ascended and descended them over ten times. I feel so good! My heart is pumping, my breathing is heightened. My head is free and clear of the glums. It really works!
It all started out with some jumping jacks.

I sat down after, and Luke 6:23a came to mind;
"Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven."

Now growing up we always kind of read this like you leap to get joy. In this verse it is saying that we leap because of joy, but in this case the former approach was in mind.

Leaping for jumping brings joy. Really.

 

Exercise has been touted to do everything from treat depression to improve memory, with the power to cure a host of problems while preventing even more. In particular, exercise leads to the release of certain neurotransmitters in the brain that alleviate pain, both physical and mental. Additionally, it is one of the few ways scientists have found to generate new neurons. Much of the research done in this area has focused on running, but all types of aerobic exercise provide benefits. Although the exact nature of these benefits is still being determined, enough research has been done to provide even skeptics with a motivation to take up exercise. Exercise exerts its effects on the brain through several mechanisms, including neurogenesis, mood enhancement, and endorphin release.    Read more at http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/nuro/neuro05/web2/mmcgovern.html
Also:
Jumping exercises provide three substantial main benefits to your body. First, jumping acts as a cardiovascular exercise, meaning it increases your heart and respiratory rate, leading to calorie burning and weight loss. Jumping exercise also strengthens the muscles of your legs, especially the calf muscles, along with others like the hamstrings and quadriceps. Finally, jumping exercises help develop stronger bones, especially in developing children.Read more:http://www.livestrong.com/article/416063-jumping-up-down-as-aerobic-exercise/#ixzz2MWj2V8Vt
And ok, I admit, I was in the skeptics camp. It's not that I don't like exercise,I am just not that into it. And by not that into it, I just never formally did it. I did do high school athletics, and ride bikes, and walk quite a lot when I was younger. But now, I touted myself -carrying up to 30 lbs a day in little people, going from floor to floor, running after a toddler so he doesn't play in the toilet water for the fifth time in an hour - as getting enough exercise.
Yet, here I am and my back is in pain like no other, my posture needs some definite improvement,  and my brain is in the fuzzies more than I'd like.

So after browsing around on the web and reading all this inspiring quotes and things about exercise, and talking to my exercise guru friend about my back. I made an attempt to actually do something.

I jumped and down. I did some jumping jacks and some stretches, I felt so good.

So go ahead and leap for joy.
To get it, and because of it- Both ways.